Emotion and Adaptation

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1994 - Psychology - 557 pages
In this work, Richard Lazarus offers a treatment of the psychology of emotion, its role in adaptation, and the issues that must be addressed to understand it. The work provides a complete theory of emotional processes, explaining how different emotions are elicited and expressed, and how the emotional range of individuals develops over their lifetime. The author's approach puts emotion in a central role as a complex, patterned, organic reaction to both daily events and long-term efforts on the part of the individual to survive, flourish, and achieve. In his view, emotions cannot be divorced from other functions--whether biological, social, or cognitive--and express the intimate, personal meaning of what individuals experience. As coping and adapting processes, they are seen as part of the ongoing effort to monitor changes, stimuli, and stresses arising from the environment. After defining emotion and discussing issues of classification and measurement, Lazarus turns to the topics of motivation, cognition, and causality as key concepts in this theory. Next he looks at individual emotions, both negative and positive, and examines their development in terms of social influences and individual events. Finally, he considers the long-term consequences of emotion on physical health and well-being, and the treatment and prevention of emotional dysfunction. --From publisher's description.

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About the author (1994)

Richard S. Lazarus is at University of California at Berkeley (Emeritus).

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